It’s that time of year when things start to heat up in the Bay and it didn’t disappoint. For those who are willing to put in the time and run around a bit, you will be rewarded.
Bluefish- They’re Back… the gators are back and they’re here with some size. Most of the bite seems to be within a few hours after sunrise or before sunset. As for finding them, that could be the tricky part because they seem to always be on the move and just don’t bunker down anywhere. The surf guys are finding them on a consistent basis, so if you have a desire to fight a blue on light tackle, you can run to the outside on a calm day and run along the beach. The birds will usually show you where they are. Inside, it seems to be bunker chunks near the bridge and coast guard station. You can find them with plugs off the shoals around the showboat and the other cuts around the the various islands. If you want to run east, they are finding them off of Patchogue, Bellport and along Fire Island, Davis Park area. I haven’t heard anything around the north/south cuts aka Amityville, Babylon, etc… but I suspect you’ll find them there as well.
Stripers: We just don’t seem to have a great Striper bite. I ran the ocean today and I really didn’t mark anything of interest. I ran along the shore as well as the 3 mile line, and again, not much going on. I did mark bunker so the bait is here, but I don’t see any keeper Stripers around. On the inside the bite is a bit better with most on the schoolie size… again, these are being caught off of the shoals, mostly on plugs.
Weakfish: This is probably the best bite out there right now. I caught several today with little effort. Although I didn’t get any giants, I did get a 22″ and a 20″ fish, along with some smaller fish. They are GREAT to catch. The fight like hell, it takes a little bit of patience to get them landed and they are a great eating fish. Right now the Weakfish are in their holes. Where ever there is a significant drop off, like 8ft to 20 feet, FISH THAT SPOT. These fish are being caught between Ocean Beach and Point of Woods. The incoming tide is good because it keeps the Slip Gut down, however I always do better on the outgoing tide. Once the slip gut shows up, its time to pack up because Weakfish are a bit picky and are pretty smart. This is the set-up I recommend. A light spincaster reel or a light baitcaster reel. You want 10lb fluro with 10-15lb braid. You want to fish as light as possible. If you can get away with fishing 1/4oz, DO IT. I fished mostly with 1oz AllPro Slayer Bucktails and they were fine, but when I had the chance to get lighter, I did with 3/8oz. You will find you will get a better bite with the lighter set up. I feel this is true with most fish, but especially with Weakfish. So there are 3 ways I fish these.
- Jig Head, no skirt with White or Pink Bass Assassin or Motor Oil Jelly Worm with white or chartreuse tail. Cast and retrieve. Allow it to fall and retrieve erratically. Work the worm a bit slower and lower to the bottom, so if you need more weight make the adjustment.
- Live Bait. Weakfish love Peanut Bunker, live killies, etc. If you can get your hands on some. Fish them on a 3 way with a bank sinker. It’s the easiest way for me and my clients. If there are Weakfish, Fluke, Blues, Bass in the area…get ready to start reeling!
- Hi/Lo Set up. Sometimes I go with 2 drop loops. I like to use a plastic grub on one and maybe a spearing on the other. On the bottom I’ll go with the lightest bucktail as possible with a grub. I like white or pink, so those are my go to colors.
Fluke: Inside Fire Island the Fluke for the most part are 15-18″. Yes, there will be a keeper here and there, but for the most part this is what is being caught between the inlet all the way to West Fire Island. I have been catching them on our X-Pro Super Grubs as we are testing them before their launch. Gulp also work real well. If you fish two drop loops I’d put a plastic bait on one and a spearing on the other. I know its easy to fish where “all the boats fish” but don’t play follow the leader. The party boats fish that area and we all set up behind them. Yes, they’re great captains on those boats and they usually have a good sense where the fish are, but they are also business people and they aren’t going to run those boats into Sayville and Patchogue. The Fluke migrate from our inlets and while the water still has a little chill in it, they head to the back bay where the water temperature can be 5-10 degrees warmer. They will set up on the muddy bottoms waiting for their prey. Again, fish the channels, cuts, shoals back there. Find the bait and you’ll find the fish. Also, I like to see where the clammers are working their trade, because Fluke are probably not that far behind them. The larger fluke who get through the fleet of boats at the Robert Moses Bridge move into the back areas. You’ll find them set up off of Massapequa, West Islip, Babylon, as well. Don’t be afraid to try a new spot or two before you hit your regular hole. It’s easier said than done. Just today I wanted to fish the back, but conditions allowed me to run to the west bar and to the reef, so instead of going with my instincts and staying inside and fishing in the back, I wasted 60 gallons of gas and fish the bar and the reef. My reward was about 4 Fluke the size of my hand.
AllPro is accepting charters now for late June/July. We are booked between now and then. You can find our rates at AllProCharters.com. You can always give me a call at 844-462-5577 to discuss a charter or just get some information that may assist you. We are here to help our fishing community!